Two leaders in the flourishing, multi-faceted market of Esports are joining forces to provide unprecedented access and opportunities to high school esports competitors and enthusiasts.
EsportsTower LLC, the largest amateur training club in North America, has signed an exclusive partnership with ESTV EsportsTV to extend their wildly popular Esports Tower Rumble events to a global audience. First aired in February 2021, Rumble events were streamed on Twitch through a partnership with Boise State University. With the addition of ESTV, weekly events are expected to reach over 150,000 unique viewers weekly per game title. ESTV is the first worldwide 24-7 live, linear video channel dedicated to esports. Launched in May 2019, ESTV provides round-the-clock coverage of esports athletes and gaming franchises from an insider perspective.
Esports Tower branded Rumble events feature amateur high school club players who want to go pro and score college scholarships while playing against top-ranked high school teams. Adding to the excitement, college partners this year have helped build out the mental health and wellness-inspired Esports Tower ApproachTM curriculum and contributed nearly $2-million in scholarship awards. Pro-teams have also started scouting Esports Tower clubs for talent, with team Kungarna announcing a tryout event planned for mid-December as the company launches its newest game – Apex Legends. Esports Tower currently offers club members live training twice weekly, along with weekly events where players test out new skills in action and gain insights from insiders about working in the fast-growing industry of esports. Current games include Rocket League, Valorant, Overwatch, and Fortnite.
“Watching high-ranked players in solo-queue doesn’t tell us much. What we like about Esports Tower is we get to see players in the development phase. We watch their progress in Rumbles from week to week and ultimately their coachability.” said Dr. Chris “Doc” Haskel, Head Coach at Boise State University and 2020 College Esports Coach of the Year (NAECAD), 2020 Esports Director of the Year (NACE).
“What I loved about talking with Esports Tower players last month is they remind me of myself. They’re eager to learn, open to critique, and unafraid to ask questions. And some of their players are better than you’d expect – I watched as one took out top-ranked Tenz when they played at this summer’s BFC Smeag Cup hosted by FaZe BabyBay, it only happened once, but it was unexpected and made for great entertainment!” said Thomas “Trippy” Schappy, FaZe Trippy Head Coach For TheFaZe Valorant Team.
“We are thrilled to partner with Eric and the team at ESTV. Their global platform is found on family-friendly devices and viewable via Roku, Amazon Fire, Sling, and many other providers in over 45 countries,” said David Adams, CEO and founder of Esports Tower. “We strive to do more than any other amateur organization to get our players seen and considered for collegiate and pro-opportunities. Partnering with ESTV is a natural step in helping our Generation-Z athletes expand their personal brand while supporting our college partners seeking to recruit top talent for their varsity teams.”
“We experienced some of the highest tune-in rates when we piloted Esports TowerRumbles last month,” said, Geoff Kowalski, Chief Revenue Officer of ESTV. “Esports Tower’s gameplay is compelling, and their interviews and editorial content provides interesting and entertaining insights of what happens behind the scenes showing what players do to advance both their gameplay and goals to go pro. It will be a great addition to ESTV programming and sponsorships, given it’s appeal to elusive teen viewers and their families.”
ESTV was launched in 2019 to meet the demand for round-the-clock coverage of esports athletes and gaming franchises from an insider perspective. Today, it’s the first dedicated channel for esports and gaming personalities, with programming providing round-the-clock coverage of esports athletes and gaming franchises from an insider perspective.
“ESTV’s mission is to deliver the most innovative esports and gaming programming available everywhere,” said Eric Yoon, Founder and CEO of ESTV. “As ESTV distributes the world’s best esports content on a linear programming schedule, Esports Tower will be a foundational pillar in our mission to provide content for all esports fans, promote opportunities within esports and expand the presence of esports media in homes across the globe.”
The alliance follows new original programming and expanded Rumble titles offered at Esports Tower.
Riot Games Announces VALORANT Esports EMEA Partnership With Unilumin
With the start of the 2024 competitive VALORANT Esports season now underway, we’re proud to announce our partnership with Unilumin, a world leading LED display solution provider!
Unilumin has been instrumental in helping us level up the fan experience at the all-new Riot Games Arena with their industry-leading LED display technology, of which 250 square meters will now feature across the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. We’re so excited to welcome them on board as an official supplier for VCT EMEA, VALORANT Game Changers EMEA, and VALORANT Ascension EMEA.
Unilumin’s screens will light up the stage at the Berlin arena – and their logo will feature across various VALORANT Esports EMEA broadcasts throughout 2024. They’ve supplied display solutions globally from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, a mere stone’s throw away from us at the Riot Games Arena in Berlin. They’ve also worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment venues and global sports stadiums to illuminate events across the globe with grandstand, perimeter, and centerhung screens alongside scoreboards in major competition venues.
As we continue to level up the fan experience throughout 2024, we know Unilumin is the perfect partner to help us bring the most immersive experience and exciting atmosphere to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin, for our fans.
“Unilumin Sports is pleased to bring our solutions and technologies to the Riot Games Arena in Berlin and be a partner of VALORANT Esports in EMEA”, said Oscar Feng, the Global Director of Unilumin Sports. “We will use our well-designed products and fast response services to cooperate with Riot Games for their events and show the ultimate audio-visual experience to their fans.”
“After working with Unilumin for the refit of the Riot Games Arena, we’re delighted to welcome them as a supplier for our various VALORANT Esports EMEA events in 2024,” said Daniel Ringland, Head of VALORANT Esports EMEA. “Unilumin has helped us enhance the fan experience for those watching from home and joining us on-site, and we can’t wait to use their display technology throughout the season.”
Tundra Esports Announces Addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg as Dota 2 General Manager to the Team
The veteran offlaner and captain will serve as the cornerstone for Tundra Esports’ Performance Management Team
Tundra Esports is delighted to announce the addition of Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to its Dota 2 Performance Management Team, taking on the role of General Manager.
A household name in the competitive scene to both fans and peers alike, Wahlberg brings over tens years of experience, numerous championships and four top-three finishes at The International to the Tundra Esports tribe. Alongside his impressive tenures on some of the highest profile rosters in Dota’s history, he retains the impressive record of a 66.6% win rate across his 2,000+ game career; the highest of all pro Dota players*. For someone with such an intimate relationship with success in Dota 2, Wahlberg is expected to bring about a new level of excellence to the team’s management style and gameplay.
*With more than 200 pro matches played
Wahlberg’s addition further cements Tundra Esports’ commitment to growing and evolving its performance management team and the move marks a significant milestone for the organisation’s continued journey towards competitive success in the world of Dota 2.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wahlberg to Tundra Esports as the Dota 2 General Manager and support his journey into management after his illustrious playing career,” the co-founder and Esports Director for Tundra Esports, Anthony Graham, said. “We are doubling down on our approach to Dota and I don’t think there is a better person to lead our Dota operations going forward than Wahlberg.”
Wahlberg joins the already star-studded 2024 Tundra Esports Dota roster, consisting of:
1 – Ivan ‘Pure-‘ Moskalenko
2 – Topias ‘Topson’ Taavitsainen
3 – Ivan ‘MinD_ContRoL’ Ivanov
4 – Edgar ‘9Class’ Naltakian
5 – Matthew ‘Whitemon’ Filemon
“After an extensive break from the game, I’m very excited to be involved with Dota again but in a different capacity,” Wahlberg said. “I’m looking forward to stepping into a new role as General Manager for Tundra Esports and to use my previous experiences and insights as a player to manage and influence its Dota division.”
Fans will get to witness his impact on the team’s performance first-hand in its upcoming match against The International 12 champions Team Spirit this Sunday at DreamLeague Season 22.
Esports to Beat Football? SOFTSWISS Shares Sports Betting Trends for 2024
Esports is raising its position among top sports by bets in 2023. The product team of the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, a top sports betting software provider, reflects on the past year.
Esports Unstoppable Rise
Over the past three years, the top three sports by bets remain unchanged, with football, tennis and basketball maintaining their leadership. In contrast, esports has demonstrated a consistent upward trend, progressing from the seventh position in 2021 to the fourth in 2023. Notably, Counter-Strike stands out, claiming the sixth position among the top ten disciplines by the number of bets.
Alexander Kamenetskyi, Head of SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, comments: “Considering the rise of esports, we guide our partners to focus on cyber disciplines, engaging audiences beyond traditional betting demographics. Highlighting the cybersports potential for operators, Newzoo’s report projects 640 million viewers by 2025.”
Mobiles Drive 92% of Operator GGR
Another notable trend in sports betting, which has remained unchanged for several years, is the consistent growth in bets made from mobile devices. According to the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook, 80% of bets in 2023 were placed via mobile versus 70% in 2022 and 68% in 2021. This trend solidifies as players increasingly opt for mobile convenience, especially in live betting scenarios. More importantly, it was mobile devices that contributed 92% to the operators’ GGR.
Kamenetskyi adds: “Mobile betting is one of our main focuses in product development. We put much effort into improving our mobile application and mobile website. It is specifically important for locations facing challenges with internet connectivity and regions like LatAm and Africa where internet coverage is still growing.”
Casino Turnover Drops During Major Sports Events
The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team has repeatedly emphasised shifts in player behaviour around major sports events. Specifically, there was a 10–20% drop in online casino turnover, coinciding with the World Cup 2022. This highlights a dynamic wherein a significant portion of casino players redirect their focus towards sports betting based on seasonal patterns. Considering audience preferences, reinforcing casinos with sportsbooks is a logical step.
Kamenetskyi adds: “This pattern underscores the strategic imperative for iGaming stakeholders to recognise the synergistic relationship between casino ventures and sportsbooks. Combining these options not only enhances casino appeal but also maintains player engagement, especially during sports events. In this context, it is worth mentioning that the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook is compatible with any casino platform on the market.”
Additionally, the SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team notes the strengthening of other trends like regulation and responsible gambling that have recently been highlighted in the iGaming Trends 2024 report by SOFTSWISS. The SOFTSWISS Sportsbook team will be glad to discuss all learnings during the first SBC Summit Rio at the stand D360.
SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.
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